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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Recipe: Quinoa With Avocado Salsa Salad

Prep time: 5 mins (mostly chopping)
Cooking time: 10-15 mins

This is a very easy recipe (as most salads are). The only cooking involved here is for the quinoa and if you're always in a hurry you can always cook your quinoa ahead (they're usually last for 2-3 days in the fridge). Just make sure you store them using a tightly sealed container. I'm no Quinoa expert but the way I cook it is 2 parts water for 1 part Quinoa (2:1). And I usually just let it boil till the water evaporates (just like how you would cook rice). This is the guide I used when I cooked my first batch and I stuck to it because it yielded just the right way I'd like my Quinoa to be. To be honest, I'm still in the process of discovering and trying out everything I read to be a healthier and better for my body. I'm lucky to always stumble on tasty recipes though and I don't think I'm giving up anytime soon on this experimentation. 

This was the lunch I packed for work yesterday and I shared it with my co-workers who loved it!
I have yet to really incorporate this pseudo grain into my daily meal plan but I usually try to prepare something 2 to 3 times a week. The past few weeks, I did my recipes during the weekends because that's when we buy our groceries and that's also when my ingredients are the freshest. But this week, I got a little lazy and went to eat mostly what was prepared by our helper. Come mid-week however, I rushed to prepare some Quinoa because I was looking for other ways to use the fruits and greens that have been sitting in the fridge for a few days already. So this recipe I'm sharing is sort of a throw-in-everything-in-there kind of thing (hehehe) because I pretty much used what's in our fridge. 

I used:

1 cup cooked Quinoa
1 bunch Leaf lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
1 tsp black beans (the salted kind in can but i plan to make this using the real ones next time)

Avocado salsa:
1 medium size tomatoes, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped finely
1 tsp calamansi juice
1 small avocado, diced
1/2 cup ripe mangoes, diced
spring onions, for garnish
a pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Dressing (I just put everything in a small bottle and just shook the bottle till they're evenly mixed):
2 tsps EVOO
1 tsp coco vinegar
1 tsp honey

How I did it:

Toss everything in a salad bowl and drizzle with dressing. If you have some cashew nuts on hand, chop them up and garnish as well. The nutty flavor would definitely compliment all the sweet and tangy flavors in this salad.


**Quinoa is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Manganese.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Recipe: Chicken and Corn Chowder

Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins

I'm a sabaw lover. The literal hot sabaw, I mean. And I especially love a hot sabaw on rainy days. But today, despite the almost unbearable heat, I decided to make some chowder for lunch since the little girl's been asking for soup and I had promised to make some for breakfast earlier. My recipe turned out to be a little watery but my family still relished it down to the last drop. They probably missed my cooking so much that even a fried egg cooked by me would have tasted like m and m's to them (my analogy was a little off but m and m's came to mind when I thought about melt in the mouth. and please allow me to exaggerate because they were really very vocal about wanting me to cook for them again).

So anyway, it has gotten colder since rain started pouring a few minutes ago. I hope it stays that way through the entire night. I'm off to put the little girl to sleep in a few but before I log off for the night, let me just share with you the recipe for this award-winning soup per my husband (yes, he is my biggest fan next to Maia). 

What I used:

200 grams flaked, pre-boiled chicken meat
1 cup potatoes, diced
1 cup cream style corn
1 small white onion, chopped finely
1 knob butter + approx 2-3 tsps flour to make the roux
2 cups chicken broth (saved from the boiled chicken)
1/4 cup evaporated filled milk
olive oil
chopped spring onions/parsley for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

How I did it:

1. On a separate pan, saute white onion on olive oil and add in the diced potatoes and the flaked chicken.
2. On another pan and over low fire, melt butter and add in flour. Stir till they're combined thoroughly. 
3. Add in the broth and the sauteed chicken flakes.
4. Stir and add the cream style corn. Simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Add milk, stir and simmer for another 5 minutes or till desired soup consistency is achieved.
6. Serve hot with pan de sal (or in a soup bowl). Enjoy!!!

This recipe serves about 3-4 hungry stomachs.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Not Forever.

I'm missing those laid back days. I miss blogging. But I can't blog a lot because I haven't been playing mommy these past few weeks so I can't think of things to write about. I miss my family. I think I've written that in almost all of the post I wrote this May. Sigh.

But as they say, change is good. We all need to be shaken off our comfortable zones once in a while. And I welcome all this challenges coming my way. But a short breather would also be gratefully appreciated. I hope that comes soon.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Recipe: Sauteed Shrimp with Chicharo and Cauliflower Florets

Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10-15 mins

My little girl loves cauliflower and broccoli so I always try to come up with simple, easy yet tasty recipes for her. I've had this particular recipe in mind for some time now but every time I buy the ingredients, the hubby would suddenly request for chopsuey or pansit and I'd end up using my primary ingredients for a different recipe. So today, finally, while the my ingredients are still fresh I woke up early and cooked this for Maia's lunch (and my baon as well).

What you will need:

  • 150g fresh shrimps (suaje), peeled and deveined (we left a few pieces with the skins on though because the little girl enjoys peeling them herself)
  • 2 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup chicharo (snow peas)
  • 3 tsps oyster sauce
  • 2 tsps cornstarch diluted in 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional - hard boiled quail eggs
How I did it:

1. Saute onion and garlic till fragrant.
2. Add in the cauliflower florets and saute for 2 minutes.
3. Add in the chicharo. Toss for another 2 mins or till chicharo is slightly crisp.
4. Add in the shrimps and toss till slightly pinkish.
5. Add in the oyster sauce. Toss again till veggies and shrimps are coated
6. Add in the cornstarch slurry and wait till sauce thickens.
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with hot, steamed rice.

p.s. I added about 20 pcs of hard boiled quail eggs to this recipe because the little girl also loves those. But these are really just optional.


This recipe can feed 3-4 hungry stomachs.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hello May!

We welcomed the first day of the 5th month of the year by staying indoors. When my siblings and I were kids, my late lola always welcomed the first day of May with great revelry. She always looked forward to May because of Flores De Mayo and Her 'Hello May' ritual was usually accompanied by a piping hot pot of arroz caldo or 'palutaw' (which is just like Ginataang Halo-halo). Oh the nostalgia that May brings. I would've wanted to replicate lola's ritual but I fondly remember too how May smelled of flowers and dew and cool air then. It was never like the May that I've been experiencing for the past years that I've been living in Manila and now here in Cavite.

Of late, the summer heat has been almost unbearable that every time we're out and exposed for more than 10 minutes under the scorching sun and Maia would become lethargic, I would shake her just to keep her conscious. (insert Tibs' stiffled laugh) YES, I have heat stroke paranoia. And yes, in my part of the world, the paranoia never goes away. 

So anyway because we couldn't stay out for long unless we're dipping in a pool of water, we instead welcomed the first day of May indoors. Well, to be honest, I was secretly wishing we would do just that because the past few days had kept me extremely busy with work and other activities totally unrelated to family life. I missed my two-some, cool-some duo.I miss storytime with Maia. I miss cuddletime with Tibs.  I miss playing referee to their fights. I miss cooking for them. I just missed my family a lot. So yesterday, we ditched previous plans the last minute and decided to just get lazy and do family time some justice.  We did all the things I missed. Told/exchanged stories, cuddled, tickled, ate tacos and quesadillas, did some crafts (this is fast becoming a favorite bonding activity too in our household)!

Here are some photos I posted at instagram to summarize our day:

Fluffy Bunnies book. One of Maia's favorites since she was a toddler.
This was a gift from Lola Joyce.
Quesadilla/Soft Tacos Galore!
(my cheese dip ingredients on the left, quesadilla in the making on the right)
Maia busy at work
We did a choo-choo train from paper tubes and egg trays. Maia did that one so fast, I got pressured of thinking what to do next. Good thing I kept a Pinterest board of Arts and Crafts activities so I was able to come up with another paper tube (which was the material that I had on hand yesterday) activity instantly. Maia enjoyed the paper tube flower stamping more and I reckon it's probably because she loves painting pictures. At first I thought that making the patterns was difficult but I turned out to be easier than I'd imagined. I made a separate post of these two paper tube craft activities in case you would want to make your own version. Please click here for the Egg Carton + Paper Tube Train and here for the Paper Tube Flower stamps

May 1st came and went. It drizzled slightly during the late afternoon just about the same time when Maia  decided to drag all of her stuffed friends outside to show them the stars. It's a good thing the sky cleared up as soon as she got herself and her stuffed friends seated comfortably so I could claim proudly how we had a tantrum-free day yesterday. That was a first! 

Can you please join me in saying - "YOU DID GOOD, MAIA!"
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